The following remarks were made at the Rally for Artsakh on September 2, 2023 by Garo Madenlian, Esc.
I stand here with you today, on this the 32nd Anniversary of the independence of Artsakh, in solidarity with our 120,000 Armenian brothers and sisters who remain under blockade, subject to genocide, whose fate as of yet is undetermined, to let you know loud and clear, that collectively we have the power to make a difference when united in cause and focused on the immediate priorities facing our nation.
We have been successful in the past when unified and resolute in our mission to overcome the tyranny and the evil that Turkey and Azeri-Tatars have shown they are capable of doing in the past and continue to show they are willing to do so today.
Let us recognize that the Aliyev and Erdogan dictatorial regimes have embarked on a campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing by weaponizing food and medicine to slowly strangle and murder the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh, including 30,000 children.
Think about that for a minute. They are purposefully starving 30,000 children to murder them and annihilate a nation. That is what they are doing.
Let us decide together, that innocent lives can no longer be placed on the chopping block and bartered, traded, for financial gains, political influence, or natural resources such as gas and oil.
Let us whole heartedly believe that together we can put an end to such violations of basic human rights wherever they may occur, and today they are occurring in Artsakh.
Let us join forces to right the wrongs, save lives, and let’s remain undeterred and unwavering regarding Artsakh, which is the priority of Armenians everywhere today.
But this is not just an Armenian issue, even though the same perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 are continuing where they left off against the same target population for their renewed appetite to create a modern-day ottoman-like pan-Turkish empire, the entire world should be concerned.
This is a humanitarian issue with 120,000 people held captive slowly being murdered. Those who remain silent allowing such ethnic cleansing and genocide to occur are complicit.
President Biden, like those who came before him, has chosen to waive the Section 907 ban on providing military aid to Azerbaijan and has continued to do so even though there is an ongoing blockade and active genocide, making him and the current administration, active accomplices to the crime of Genocide.
Samantha Powers who apologized to Armenian Americans for not doing enough for Genocide recognition in the past, when she had the chance, has refused to have USAID airlift and provide humanitarian assistance, basic necessities, food and medical supplies to Artsakh, and thus she and USAID or also complicit in this crime.
Meanwhile, the state department continues to encourage and support Azerbaijan’s plans to swallow up Artsakh and its indigenous Armenian population at any cost and without any security guarantees or provisions, making the state department an active participant in the crime of Genocide.
Think about that for a minute. This policy is tantamount to taking an abused victim of domestic violence and allowing the perpetrator to kidnap and hold hostage that victim. The policy would be, well that’s okay, we’re going to give the perpetrator some weapons and we’re not giving you, the victim, any food or medicine. But that’s okay, we’re going to have you stay and live with that perpetrator who we gave weapons to, and they’re going to promise to keep you safe.
Not on our watch!
The ultimate tragedy here is not just the cruelty and oppression perpetrated by Azerbaijan and Turkey but the silence of good people allowing it to continue thus making them accomplices.
That is not who we are! Not as Armenians, not as Americans, not as Armenian Americans, and not as human beings. We are better than that, and together we can do much better than that, and in this case to save lives.
The time for action is now, the clock is ticking, and innocent defenseless people are dying. We do not want to come back later ask the United States government to recognize another genocide, we want to stop this genocide in its tracks now.
What do we do?
Unite and fight.
First and foremost, put aside all political, social, priorities, differences of opinion and focus all of our activities and all of our energy on the priority of the day. We as a nation and as a people have only one agenda today, and that agenda is Artsakh and the 120,000 innocent lives at stake. That’s the agenda, that’s the priority!
This, my friends, is the driving and unifying force that binds us all and motivates us to take action, because it is right, because it is just, because this is who we are!
We also need to stop the bleeding right away; we need to open the road to life.
It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to do our part, in the arena of our choice, to carry the torch of justice, to save lives and secure a future for our brothers and sisters.
To do this we must marshal forward despite the failed policies, indifference or misguided priorities of the current governments of Armenia and America; We must create coalitions and partnerships with good people everywhere; Remain unified and focused despite political leanings, social concerns, and especially despite all the manufactured distractions we face; We must enlist the aid and support of countries and those whose values and interests are aligned with us and this cause such as the United States.
We need to help the administration find its moral compass, and return to American and Armenian values which are grounded in human rights and decency.
Follow the ANCA action alerts, but also pick up the phone, send an email , and call your representatives and demand:
- Immediate USAID Humanitarian Assistance – Airlifting aid and basic necessities to Armenians held hostage in Artsakh.
- Demand the White House maintain section 907 and ban on all military aid to Azerbaijan.
- Demand the United States sanctions against Azerbaijan and personally against Aliyev for the blockade and ongoing genocide.
- Contact your local news outlets, print, television or online, and demand coverage, demand the truth. People need to know this ethnic cleansing, this genocide, that the US government is shutting their eyes to.
Our strength, effectiveness and success are based on our unity of purpose, unified and coordinated efforts and continued and relentless activism every day.
Together we will fight in the halls of Congress, on the steps of the Capitol, at the UN, the European Union, the International Court of Justice and wherever this battle take us, to the streets if need be!
Together we can do this! We’ve done it before, and together we will do it again!
Long live Artsakh!
Long live the Armenian population of Artsakh!
Long live the AYF!
Garo Madenlian, Esc.